It appears the new NBA arena in SODO is moving ahead, after the Seattle City Council was briefed on the project Monday morning. Some council members are not happy about the unexpected $5 million city taxpayers may lose in the deal.
If the council does not approve investor Chris Hansen's SODO location, the city could lose up to $5 million that Hansen is providing for legal and consulting fees.
"My concern is...it does kind of say we're going to be out $5 million if we don't go along with what you're suggesting. That seems like it might influence decisions," said Council Member Richard Conlin, who voted against the SODO project.
Hansen already has a purchase agreement for the franchise and is waiting for NBA approval to move them here.
Eventually they will move into a new arena with a real Seattle vibe. Plans call for bicycle access and a bicycle valet. There will be other mixed use buildings.
A draft environmental review is under way. The city will study both the SODO location and the KeyArena.
Despite the study, one council member says it's already going to be a done deal.
"I think it's going to be in SODO and I think a lot of people are happy about that,” said Councilmember Nick Licata, who voted against the plan.
The city is already holding dates for NBA play at the Key to start this November.
In Sacramento Tuesday, the Seattle City Council is expected to consider a motion to begin negotiations for a new arena there to use as a counter bid for the Kings.